Boys State Provides Real Experience in Government

Anthony Coombs

Boys State Provides Real Experience in Government

Anthony Coombs, Video Editor

Every June, high schoolers, in the summer between their junior and senior years, have an opportunity to gain a first hand education on how their government works. Boys State is a unique and exciting program where students are able to put the knowledge that they have gained from their government and history classes into practice with hands on elections and governments.

The students that go to Boys State have the opportunity to run for office and be in city, county and state governments. The boys get to understand self-governance through being their own leaders, and running themselves for the week. This begins the first day when the boys are divided up into cities and elect a mayor, police chief, treasurer, etc. These elected officials then become in charge of making sure the boys wake up on time, get their city to meetings on time, vote in elections, etc. By the end of the week there are multiple self-governing groups. The culmination of the week occurs when two Senators and a Governor and Lt. Governor are elected. The Senators go to Washington D.C. for Boys Nation, and the Governor and Lt. Governor come back to run Boys State the next year.

“The competition they [the boys] have within the different communities are outstanding… this thing is the greatest program that I have ever been involved with. I spent my… last year as a counselor at Weber State and the young men I met, I was just astounded,” Boys State Chairman for the American legion post 27 Ronald Craig said.

While the students are at Boys State they get to listen to guest speakers. These speakers include the Governor of the State of Utah, Representative Rob Bishop, and other politicians. Along with aforementioned, lawyers, military, police and newscasters come also. These guest speakers all offer a perspective on government and society that help the boys grow and learn.

“It is a program that teaches young men citizenship, and especially it teaches them how to get along as citizens in our nation,” Craig said.

The boys that were asked about their experience at Boys State describe it as one of the best weeks of their life. Boys State has been praised since its founding in 1935 as one of the best programs in the nation for teaching citizenship to young men, and preparing them for their future roles in society.